From Silicon Valley to Contrary Farming (video)


From Cooking Up A Story

New to the life of farming, a middle-aged couple make a career change from a professional life in Silicon Valley to commercially raising pasture fed animals on their newly purchased farm in Oregon. First mentoring under Joel Salatin, they now raise pasture fed cows, pigs, chickens, ducks, lambs, and sheep.

I started to really think about the food the animals I ate were fed, after I saw “King Corn” and talked to Curt Ellis.

As I was breaking down the equipment and packing it all away, I said, more or less to out loud to myself, ‘I ought to do a story on pasture fed cows’. Curt was right there, responding, ‘You should!’. I nodded my head, thinking, Okay, I’ll look into it.

The looking didn’t come right away. But evidently the forces in the world were at work, for not too long after, I finally started reading “Omnivore’s Dilemma” . The second chapter was all about Michael Pollan visiting Polyface Farm where Joel Salatin raises his animals as humanely possible and on pasture. Not concrete, not alongside thousands of others, not full of injections, and not 100% grain fed. Sounded like a good idea to me. But Mr. Salatin was nearly 3,000 miles away. It wasn’t going to work, at least not right away. In the meantime, I started to read his book, “You Can Farm,” and I liked what he was doing and wanted to learn more.

In the meantime I met with Michele to talk about films and food. I mentioned to her I wanted to do a pasture fed story and she immediately lit up and told me about the Abundant Life Farm buyers club, for that’s where she got her meat, and it was all grass fed and pasture raised.

So I gave the Jondles a call and found quite a story. Not Joel Salatin’s, mind you (but they did mentor under him!), but their own story that was quite compelling. What a wonderful environment they’ve created for their animals. The pigs get to root under brush and tree, the chickens get to scatter, and the cows and lambs run at will. In fact, when Marilyn opened the gate for the cows to go to a fresh area of pasture, they ran and kicked up their heels! What a sight that was. I’m not an animal psychologist, but these are happy cows!

A website that is dedicated to news and facts surrounding grass fed food is EatWild. Yes, pasture fed meat is more expensive, but I believe it’s healthier to eat, and more humane for the animals as well.

Go to story and video Raised On Grass at Cooking Up A Story
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One Comment

Not only is it healthier and more humane but it tastes better also! Corn raised animals taste bland. Much like the difference between free range chicken eggs and those dollar a dozen things that look like eggs.

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